The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National President Domingo Garcia and LULAC National CEO Sindy Benavides reacted to new data from a Washington Post poll that found Hispanic Americans are nearly twice as likely to have lost their jobs amid coronavirus shutdowns. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Latino unemployment rate spiked to nearly 19% meaning more than 4 million Latinos are unemployed – nearly one in every five.
Additional new data from the Associated Press also shows that more than two-thirds of Latinos have seen a shift in their household income due to the pandemic, primarily caused by 20 percent of all Hispanic adults being laid off or furloughed since the outbreak, compared to 11 percent of White Americans. As a result, 21 percent of Latinos have been unable to pay rent or make mortgage payments compared to eight percent of White Americans.
LULAC National President Domingo Garcia issued the following statement:
“Latinos across the United States are being ignored despite the fact that many of them are the same ones keeping our country running. Latino-owned businesses generate $800 billion in revenue and employ millions of people — yet somehow these small businesses are getting left behind.
We saw earlier this month that the majority of Latino small-business owners who applied for PPP were unable to get relief funding, and few were made aware of how to apply at all. The economic burden of this looming financial crisis isn’t expected to ease up any time soon, but people still need to pay their bills. It’s time for our elected officials to step up to the plate and give all Americans — particularly Latinos who are being disproportionately left behind — the support and resources they need.”
LULAC National CEO Sindy Benavides issued the following statement:
“This devastating economic data affirms that Hispanic and African American communities have been disproportionately impacted during this pandemic. This crisis has also affected minority-owned small-businesses who have been shut out of PPP loans and unable to keep workers on payroll. In fact, most Latino small-business owners do not have enough cash on hand to last beyond 21 days, so they may never open again.
Our families deserve better. With no indication of how long this economic crisis will last, it’s time for our lawmakers to step up to the plate and do more to level the playing field. The Latino community deserves at least a fighting chance.”
Long-term economic projections anticipate the pandemic will continue to have severe economic impacts. Unemployment rates in Hispanic communities are projected to reach 19 percent in 12 months before dropping to 12.9 percent in 2022. This is double the unemployment rate before the outbreak of COVID-19. These findings demonstrate drastic economic inequality in the United States and underscore the need for government action.